Simplified explanation written for someone trying to figure out why their VOIP doesn’t work on certain ISP’s:. The govt. of Pakistan not like you trying to bypass their phone system so they tell all isp’s to block such evil programs… Here is how it works:
you –> isp –> ptcl –>> pie –> Fujairah –> ???? –> the world
pta is also somewhere in the above equation, sort of floating around.
the pie in the equation above (theoretically) monitors everything you do on the internet – every email, webpage etc. etc. and blocks the popular voice services, a few newspapers, a small percentage of porn sites and whatnot. After all, every self respecting country must censor the internet, right?
However, the bigger isps have direct internet connections, which don’t go through pie, which looks like this:
you –> isp –> Flag/Reliance Telecom –>> india –> ??? –> the world
and hence not censored by Pakistan, but once again your emails/web is now being monitored by India. (well they also monitor the other one…)
(all this monitoring is besides the CIA/NSA blah blah).
Anyways, the second option is faster as there is no slow paki censor to slow them down. while theoretically these isps are supposed to self censor, in practice they don’t, hence voice and everything works.
So the problem is probably your ISP – which is why you must switch to a better one. If it is dialup, that is obsolote. If it is Worldcall, that is ‘unspeakably bad’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2004_09/worldcall_review_update.html.
See ‘Internet links in Pakistan”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2005_07/internet_links_in_pakistan.html and “Internet connectivity in Pakistan”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2005_01/internet_connectivity_in_pakistan.html for more information.
A choice quote from the PTA:
bq. “There are, however, some unscrupulous elements, indulging in illegal commercial activity of establishing exchanges for terminating international calls in the local networks of licensed operators. The media used for this illegal activity is mostly unlicensed VoIP (voice over Internet protocol). *There is an urgent need to eliminate the menace of such like illegal activities of grey market telephony.”*
>> “Daily Times: ISPs told to monitor customers’ activities, keep their record”:http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_14-9-2005_pg5_3
Grey market telephony!! Jail for you, you evildoer!! You see, now that ‘Pakistan is more advanced than many western countries’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2005_09/musharrafs_chestthumping_interviews_to_us_papers.html we’ve moved on to critical issues like _grey market telephony._ Look, when one can pay fifty times more to PTCL for a phone call, why would anyone in their right mind want to use VOIP?? After all, it’s not like this is a poor country, with hundreded of thousands of pakistani’s working abroad to support their families back home.
h4. the pieces making up the Pakistani internet mess
* pta – ‘Pakistan Telecommunications Authority’:http://www.pta.gov.pk/index.php?cur_t=vnormal
* singtel – ‘Singapore Telecom’:http://www.singtel.com/
* isp – internet service provider
* pie – ‘pakistan internet exhange’:http://www.pie.net.pk/
* Reliance Telecom – very big indian company
* ‘Flag Telecom’:http://www.flagtelecom.com/- owned by above.
The Pakistan Internet Exhange is a very appropriate name – what it does is exhange your internet access for a nice little slowdown as it attempts to filter/track/record all traffic passing through its servers. At the present time it is grossly underpowered for what it’s trying to do.
The PTA is doing a bang up job opening up the telecoms sector, but it doesn’t quite know what to do about the internet. Despite the govt. issuing broadband policies and our top leaders mouthing off about the Internet, the PTA remains adrif when it comes to sane policies regarding internet use.